Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Whimsey & Grace purse trunk show

 For the next 7 weeks Needle Nicely will be hosting a purse trunk show from Whimsey & Grace.  They have a variety of purse styles and finishing methods.  Stitch guides accompany some of the canvases.

This small tote is one of the samples.  It is a "soft- shape" style of finishing that has a heavy gold chain shoulder strap.  It demonstrates a marvelous combination of pattern stitches to achieve the finished product.

This beautiful window-pane stitch sampler has a back and front flap of needlepoint (stitched in one piece, folded in the finishing) with the front of the purse being made of leather.

This larger tote has an oval needlepoint bottom.
The leather straps are the length that allows them to go over your shoulder and the tote to be carried at elbow height. 

This meticulously counted canvas hints at the possible pattern stitches that can be utilized to make this clutch purse.

Toni offers many variations on the Napoleonic Bee design.  This canvas has a gusset piece.

This change purse echinachea design is based on some of William Morris' designs.  The size of the photograph is deceptive--the canvas is about 5" across the top and is a perfect size for a change purse.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

More new canvases

This year Needle Nicely is featuring stitch your own clock face.  The shop's model is currently at the framer getting mounted, then we'll take it to a clock man in Ft Pierce to have "the works" installed correctly.  The last one we tried to insert ourselves, we had the clock going in reverse.  It was an interesting concept; just not what the average person wants in their home.  The first five of these canvases are by Mindy.  The 6th (bright orange with flowers) is by Zecca.

These are a few of the belt canvases we have been adding to our French laundry basket.  The top 2 are from Susan Roberts.  The bottom 3 are from Ziggy of Walker Street.  Straight and upright doesn't appear to be in my vocabulary!

 A wonderful manatee canvas from Needle Crossings.  We also bought this design in a doorstop canvas.  Looking at it makes me want to drive down to the power plant where manatees gather around the warmer water in the canal.  It's one of the things to do when visiting Vero.

And this reminds me of the porpoises who follow beside boats on the intercoastal that separates the mainland from the beach, though it all is called Vero Beach.  This canvas from Needle Crossings fits in a luggage tag or another small already finished item from Colonial Needle.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New canvases from San Diego 2014

Color me amazed!  I just received some canvases from my orders in San Diego 10 days ago--and some canvases from my chats with sales reps here in the shop last fall.

This wonderful lady golfer is a canvas distributed by Maggie Co. 

The Point of It All is the proud producer of this hilarious frog design.

This chuckler is from The Point of It All.  You can just imagine the delight of the escapee dog.

Rebecca Wood designed more ornaments in this series showing reindeer at play with Christmas toys they have delivered with Santa.

Another in Rebecca Wood's series of playful

I've been making progress on Pippin's "Chomp" canvas.  The bubbles I did in the octagonal Rhodes stitch using 3 strands of impressions (the canvas is 10mesh).  I have almost completed the shark using a double strand of silk 'n ivory in the diagonal mosaic stitch.

I have also achieved almost a personal record of having unpacked and stowed away the suitcase I took to San Diego.  Usually I managed to walk around it for several weeks before finally clearing things away.  I don't, however, think it is a new trend in my life! 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

One-of-a-kind designs from San Diego

Over the years that they have been exhibiting at TNNA markets, Trubey and Dede have also been accumulating accessories that were sold by various companies.  This past year, they hatched a plan to clear out some of their personal stashes by creating "one-of-a-kind" handpainted designs for some of these hoarded items.  I hope they do it again.  These are the items I purchased for Needle Nicely's customers.

Dede took a suede clutch purse and painted its flap with feathers.  Then she painted a long strip to be its shoulder strap (or you could do another type of strap and have the needlepoint made into a belt).

Dede designed this underwater scene to be inserted into this aqua HP lacquer box. 

Over the years when Trubey and I traveled together in Europe, she was always on the look-out for "found" objects like this black and white striped pin.  She painted the geometric canvas with a space for the pin and then both pieces are to be inserted into this Stirling clutch bag.

Trubey painted this scene of horses in a pasture to be placed atop this footstool with a painted landscape around it.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

San Diego TNNA 2014

Well, no more big talk from me about how I'm going to take lots of photographs to aid in my reporting about a market.  I'm a bust!  I did manage to take a photograph of my fellow shopowners in the line for the Friday evening "Sample It!" event.  It was a real scrum when everyone was allowed inside.

I managed to purchase 3 packages containing a total of 32 magnets from the Elizabeth Turner Collection.  As Meredith (the ETC owner) commented when last week I ordered some magnets "You're finally entering the 21st century"--and she's right!


This is the pendant watch that I wear when I travel.  A friend of mine picked it up on Canal Street in New York City.  It's quite valuable, NOT.   I usually go through life without a watch.

The theme of this market was something like "Sun, Sand and Surf".  This was the display outside the entrance to the TNNA area of the Convention Center.  The two sand sculptors worked on their masterpiece all day.  Notice the sandy scissors on the left side of the sand castle.

This is another feature set up outside the venue.  It allows vendors to feature something they want everyone to especially notice.  In the background you can see the "wall of yarn" where the vendors display new and/or wonderful yarns.  I was disappointed that the table display (this is only one side) had very few items from needlepoint companies.  Ironic, since of the 2 large national markets, this is the one thought of as the needlepoint market.  Go figure.

There is a publication for retailers called "Needlework Retailer".  This was the backdrop of their show booth.  I felt right at home and even asked if they would auction this off at the end of the market.  No way.  Sigh. 

The marvelously comfortable inflatable sofa in the Unique NZ booth.  I spent odd moments quite enjoyably here at various times over the 3 days of market.

Saturday night, I begged off going for drinks and dinner with friends because of just general exhaustion and overload.  Instead, I walked to Lou & Mickey's for a take-out romaine salad along with a crab cake.  Then I cabbed to my hotel.  There, enjoying my vodka and water before my delicious dinner, I watched the New England/Indianapolis game.  When Indianapolis scored the safety, a loud male voice came through the wall.  It was almost like being at home!

As it turned out, I only stitched on the airplane going and coming to San Diego.  Partly because the lighting in my motel room was so awful, but also because my mind was too busy thinking about what to buy.  A wholesale market really is sensory overload.  Add to that seeing longtime friends and catching up with their lives and the latest gossip making the rounds--all that socializing can be quite exhausting!

Just realized I should tell you that the outer border of slanted gobelin is using 3-ply impressions for the color.  The black (slanted gobelin, again) is Trio.  Then, the basketweave is again 3-ply impressions.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

silent night redo...

While you're reading this, I'm in San Diego attending the TNNA January market.  It's my first major market in over 3 years.  I've gone to several recent cash-and-carry summer markets, but this is the big-time!  I love San Diego, the convention center,  and definitely the restaurants on 5th Avenue.

I've managed to master enough modern technology to be able to blog twice-weekly, but I give up when it comes to doing computer things away from home.  I have several memory cards, extra camera batteries, and my handy Canon camera.  I'm determined to take pictures at this market since I have failed in my mission at the last two cash-and-carry markets.   I'll wait until I return home to download everything for future blog entries. Of course, this reminds me of a young woman who came into Needle Nicely this fall.  As she was leaving, she remarked that she really admired me because "for a woman of your age, you've done very well with your blogging."  She escaped before I was over my shock.  I know she meant it as a compliment, but I thought it was presumptuous. And if she had tarried, I might have ripped her throat out (not her heart--she has no heart).

I have taken several small projects with me to stitch on, but this is what I've been working on at home.  I always take more reading and stitching on trips than I could ever hope to finish.  This is an update of a canvas Trubey designed on 10mesh canvas 30years ago.  This new incarnation is on 13mesh and I'm stitching with silk 'n ivory.  The outer border for the seam of the pillow is slanted gobelin over 2 threads.  The next border is slanted gobelin over 3 threads.  Both of those are using white silk 'n ivory.  The next border is slanted gobelin in a metallic Balger.  Then a row of continental in white silk 'n ivory.

I just realized that the design is top-heavy.  Before I start stitching inside the borders, I'll have to have the Needle Nicely "studio" add another row of buildings on the bottom right to balance things.  

This looks much more balanced.  Also, if you look closely at the photograph on the top left, you can detect that there was a "mis-paint" where the sawtooth border was miscounted near the top.  Thank goodness the copy I sent to the copy painters was correct (I double-checked!). 

The stitched buildings on the right  are the additions to the original design. 

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

And the winner of the Walker bag is. . .

And the winner of the Walker bag is commenter #9 (vero9087).  If you'll email me at n nicely @
or phone 772 567 6688, I'll make arrangements for getting it to you.  I want to thank everyone who made comments.  Not only did they make my head swell,  they made me feel that my blog was actually something people look forward to reading. And for that I really thank you.  I feel that I know the people whose blogs I read and also those who comment on mine.  It's a wonderful community to belong to.  So, now to try to accomplish another 400 entries and maintain that connection!!

Needle Nicely is gearing up for the season.  New canvases have started arriving.  New customers are also arriving--Monday I had as customers 3 people who have just moved to the area.  I hope this is the beginning of a trend!

This darling witch canvas is a design from NM Arts.  It looks like such fun to stitch.

This is another canvas from NM Arts.  Those little pigs are just darling!

This hummingbird on its nest is a canvas from Unique New Zealand.  That nest is very unusual looking and I wonder if it is indigenous to New Zealand or to all hummingbird nests?  Inquiring minds want to know.

This is an adaptation of a Maori design available from Unique New Zealand.  It makes me want to study up on the symbolism behind the different colors and shapes.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Walker bag giveaway for commenting on 400th blogpost

I've decided to have a giveaway to a randomly selected commenter on this blog entry commemorating my 400th blog.  This entry will appear on Saturday night and all comments made before my next blog entry (5pm EST Wednesday, 1/8/2014) will be eligible for a 10x13 double-zip Walker bag in your choice of 3 color combinations.

Remember that in my August 17, 2013, blog entry I gave instructions to help take the mystery out of commenting on blogs.  I would appreciate your participation.  (I still can't get a link to appear--some things never change.)
 I wish I had thought to do this in previous years because I have found it helps to nudge my memory to see the items I have blog-stitched.  And looking back, I am amazed at how many things I have stitched each year.  I realize that I am a fast stitcher, but I only stitch an hour each evening at home and off-and-on during the day at the shop.  Some days I am occupied waiting on customers or writing up finishing or packing finishing to ship to customers or doing inventory in preparation for making fiber orders--you get the idea.  I can't just sit and stitch all day, every day,  much as I might like to. Although a customer on Thursday said (and I quote) "how great.  You can just sit and stitch all day long!".  I wryly commented, "well, between ordering the restocking of fibers (many fibers) and writing up finishing and shipping items to customers and putting new canvases on the inventory and talking with clueless people like you"--but I didn't say that last because I like being in business. 

These canvases were originally designed by Trubey for slide shoes.  Shoes are expensive to finish and the demand was less than exciting so I decided to repurpose the canvases.  I think they look great as a pillow and I really enjoyed finding stitches to complement the design.

This is one of a series of designs by Susan Roberts.  I really enjoyed
stitching Santa, and especially enjoy rubbing the very velvet I used for his suit!

The center of a pillow canvas designed by Cheryl Schaeffer.  She has done it as a pillow and as a doorstop.  I special-ordered this without the borders because I didn't want to stitch that much and I felt the border detracted from the mermaid.  I went on You-tube to learn how to do the bouillon stitches for the hair and really enjoyed the process.  Isn't she gorgeous?

I got this idea after looking at some different swags done by Kathy Schenkel.  I wanted something that required a minimal expenditure from my customers, but creative use of stitches.
I used the outline of some painted canvases from Associated Talents, but only after asking for permission from them.  I love the way my finished garland looks with the addition of real starfish.  And it was fun and quick to stitch.  As an added extra, I made the hanging braid from the fibers used in stitching the starfish. 

This is one of a series of designs by Barbara Bengsten "Lily dresses" ala Lily Pulitzer. It is on 13-mesh canvas and stitched so quickly you have to love it.  And the finished product is wonderful!

This is a re-do of a canvas Needle Nicely has had for "years".  The original featured the LA Dodgers who used to spring train in Vero.  We eliminated their logo and emphasized the beach aspect of the design.

Let me re-introduce you Gunther, my magnificent nutcracker designed by Susan Roberts.  He stands 30" tall and is really quite attractive.  I'm pleased with the stitches I selected for him.  For those who are intimidated by such a large project, Susan has designed nutcrackers in 9 and 18" variations. 

In Good Company has a series of giclee ornaments that are so inexpensive.  The original colors aren't what I think of as Christmasy so I changed them.

This is a 13-mesh redo of a design Trubey did 30 years ago on 10-mesh canvas.  It was fun and easy to stitch and the finished pillow makes a nice statement.

This snowman is an excerpt from a canvas from Colonial Needle comprising many snowmen.  I special-ordered one of the snowmen first as an ornament and then another to be done as a pillow insert.

This is a design that I stitched from Plum Street Samplers in response to a challenge issued by the blog
(and why that didn't turn blue, I still don't know.  At times like this I feel so clueless!  Thank you blogger for keeping me humble and in the dark)
I stitched this on pink congress cloth using DMC embroidery floss and thoroughly enjoyed it.  I then inserted it into a box from Amanda Lawford.

I had so much fun stitching this design from Associated Talents while I was at the summer cash-and-carry show in St Charles.  I love the way the trim from Michael's transformed the pillow, though my pillow finisher was not amused at the pain of stitching it on the edge of the pillow!


I stitched these two mini-stockings for a customer who wanted to acknowledge the new children of her husband's caregivers.  Such a thoughtful gift.

These pelicans were my final project of 2013.  My patience was tested trying to complete this canvas.  Sometimes a canvas just stays too long at the dance!

And may I take this opportunity to remind you to sign up for the on-line Jeopardy adult qualification trial this coming week.  At 7pm EST Tuesday night I'll be at my computer trying once again to qualify as a competitor on Jeopardy.  Hope springs eternal!

And please comment and enter the drawing for the Walker bag.  Thanks for reading my blog!